WASHINGTON – The mother of the soldier rescued by Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter said Americans are largely indifferent and unaware of the sacrifices of the nation’s combat troops.
Vanessa Adelson, whose 21-year-old son, Spc. Stephan Mace of Lovettsville, Va., died in Afghanistan of injuries he suffered during an attack on his base by Taliban fighters, spoke with reporters by phone Thursday to bring attention to what she sees as a vast divide between civilians and the tiny minority of military families.
Carter, her son’s rescuer, will be awarded the Medal of Honor Monday by President Obama at the White House.
“People should be questioning more about what we are doing in Afghanistan,” Adelson said. “But they don’t pay attention to it. I think it’s a shame.”
Carter, a Spokane native who is now stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, risked his life to drag a wounded Mace to safety amid a barrage of enemy fire. A medevac helicopter eventually airlifted Mace, but he later died.
Mace was one of eight soldiers from Combat Outpost Keating killed on Oct. 3, 2009 in Kamdesh, Afghanistan. Another 25 soldiers, including Carter, were injured.
Adelson said Carter carries “so much guilt” about her son’s death. But Carter’s bravery, she said, gave her son several more hours of life and allowed him to die among “people he loved, his Army brothers.”
Carter is the fifth living recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor, for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq.